TV Series | TV-PG | | Western
Dennis Weaver was the first actor cast. Weaver said on the DVD commentary that he knew they were leaning towards James Arness for Marshal Matt Dillon, but he was in the Bahamas at the time filming a movie with John Wayne. They went ahead and started casting the other parts, so he ... ...
Dr. Galen 'Doc' Adams:
I'll tell you why the Hagens live so long.
Festus Haggen: Why?
Dr. Galen 'Doc' Adams: 'Cause they're too dumb to know they're dead!
Matt is called a US Marshal. Kansas became a state in 1861, more than a decade before the series is set. There was only one US district court in Kansas and one marshal assigned to it, plus a number of deputy marshal. All deputies would be based in Hays, the capital, not towns like Dodge. And deputies would enforce federal laws and court orders, and capture federal fugitives. They would not have state or local jurisdiction (like breaking up fights in the Long Branch). At the time of the series Dodge had a town marshal, and a county sheriff with jurisdiction outside the town limits.